459 research outputs found

    Assets focus risk management framework for critical infrastructure cybersecurity risk management

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    Critical infrastructure (CI) is vital for the overall economic growth and its reliable and safe operation is essential for a nation's stability and people's safety. Proper operation of the assets is essential for such a system and any threats that could negatively impact the asset could have a severe disruption. Risk management is an important aspect of the protection of CI. There are several frameworks and methodologies for identifying assets, quantifying and analysing vulnerabilities. However, there is a lack of focus on the interdependencies among the assets and cascading effect of the inherent vulnerabilities on the asset. This study attempts to bridge that gap by presenting a novel asset focus risk management approach for the CI. It presents a systematic methodology for identifying and analysing critical assets, their potential vulnerabilities, threats and risks facing CI. This work taking into account cascading vulnerability impacts on assets leading to threats and causing risk. The authors use a running example from a smart grid system to demonstrate the usability of the approach. The result shows that some assets are prioritised and more vulnerable than other assets for the power grid system and it can severely impact on the overall business continuity

    Cyber Threat Intelligence for Improving Cybersecurity and Risk Management in Critical Infrastructure

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    Cyber-attack is one of the significant threats affecting to any organisation specifically to the Critical Infrastructure (CI) organisation. These attacks are nowadays more sophisticated, multi-vectored and less predictable, which make the Cyber Security Risk Management (CSRM) task more challenging. Critical Infrastructure needs a new line of security defence to control these threats and minimise risks. Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) provides evidence-based information about the threats aiming to prevent threats. There are existing works and industry practice that emphasise the necessity of CTI and provides methods for threat intelligence and sharing. However, despite these significant efforts, there is a lack of focus on how CTI information can support the CSRM activities so that the organisation can undertake appropriate controls to mitigate the risk proactively. This paper aims to fill this gap by integrating CTI for improving cybersecurity risks management practice specifically focusing on the critical infrastructure. In particular, the proposed approach contributes beyond state of the art practice by incorporating CTI information for the risk management activities. This helps the organisation to provide adequate and appropriate controls from strategic, tactical and operational perspectives. We have integrated concepts relating to CTI and CSRM so that threat actor's profile, attack detailed can support calculating the risk. We consider smart grid system as a Critical Infrastructure to demonstrate the applicability of the work. The result shows that cyber risks in critical infrastructures can be minimised if CTI information is gathered and used as part of CSRM activities. CTI not only supports understanding of threat for accurate risk estimation but also evaluates the effectiveness of existing controls and recommend necessity controls to improve overall cybersecurity. Also, the result shows that our approach provides early warning about issues that need immediate attention

    An Integrated Cyber Security Risk Management Approach for a Cyber-Physical System

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    A cyber-physical system (CPS) is a combination of physical system components with cyber capabilities that have a very tight interconnectivity. CPS is a widely used technology in many applications, including electric power systems, communications, and transportation, and healthcare systems. These are critical national infrastructures. Cybersecurity attack is one of the major threats for a CPS because of many reasons, including complexity and interdependencies among various system components, integration of communication, computing, and control technology. Cybersecurity attacks may lead to various risks affecting the critical infrastructure business continuity, including degradation of production and performance, unavailability of critical services, and violation of the regulation. Managing cybersecurity risks is very important to protect CPS. However, risk management is challenging due to the inherent complex and evolving nature of the CPS system and recent attack trends. This paper presents an integrated cybersecurity risk management framework to assess and manage the risks in a proactive manner. Our work follows the existing risk management practice and standard and considers risks from the stakeholder model, cyber, and physical system components along with their dependencies. The approach enables identification of critical CPS assets and assesses the impact of vulnerabilities that affect the assets. It also presents a cybersecurity attack scenario that incorporates a cascading effect of threats and vulnerabilities to the assets. The attack model helps to determine the appropriate risk levels and their corresponding mitigation process. We present a power grid system to illustrate the applicability of our work. The result suggests that risk in a CPS of a critical infrastructure depends mainly on cyber-physical attack scenarios and the context of the organization. The involved risks in the studied context are both from the technical and nontechnical aspects of the CPS

    Electronic excitations stabilized by a degenerate electron gas in semiconductors

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    Excitons in semiconductors and insulators consist of fermionic subsystems, electrons and holes, whose attractive interaction facilitates bound quasiparticles with quasi-bosonic character. In the presence of a degenerate electron gas, such excitons dissociate due to free carrier screening. Despite their absence, we found pronounced emission traces in the below-band-edge region of bulk, germanium-doped GaN up to a temperature of 100 K, mimicking sharp spectral features at high free electron concentrations (3.4E19–8.9E19 cm−3). Our interpretation of the data suggests that a degenerate, three-dimensional electron gas stabilizes a novel class of quasiparticles, which we name collexons. These many-particle complexes are formed by exchange of electrons with the Fermi gas. The potential observation of collexons and their stabilization with rising doping concentration is enabled by high crystal quality due to the almost ideal substitution of host atoms with dopants.DFG, 43659573, SFB 787: Semiconductor Nanophotonics: Materials, Models, Device

    Production and characterization of xanthan gum by bacterial isolates

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    Xanthan gum is a microbial polymer synthesised by a plant pathogen of the Xanthomonas genus. Due to its rheological characteristics and water solubility, it is of enormous commercial significance and has been utilized as a thickening and stabilizing agent in a variety of industries. In this work, the potential for synthesizing xanthan gum in Xanthomonas species isolated from black rot spotted tomatoes, peppers, mango, and bananas was investigated. After washing the leaves in saline solution, a tenfold dilution was made, and aliquots (1 ml) were placed on a nutrient agar plate and incubated for 48 h at 25 °C. Gram staining was made on colonies that appeared yellow. An emulsification test was carried out on bacteria that were gram-negative rods. Potential xanthan gum producers include isolates displaying yellow colonies, gram-negative rods, and stable emulsions on carbon-enriched media. These requirements were satisfied by eight (61.5 %) of the isolates tested. Biochemical analysis of the isolates indicated that they were Xanthomonas species, and they were coded appropriately (BX2, BX3, PX4, MX6, PX7, MX8, TM9, TX11). The molecular analysis of the best two isolates (TM9 and BX3) revealed that they were Xanthomonas campestris and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia. After 96 h of incubation, Xanthomonas campestris and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were the most effective xanthan gum producers, generating 2.10 g/l and 1.63 g/l of xanthan gum, respectively. The apparent viscosity (AV), emulsification index (IE24), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were used to characterize the xanthan gums produced. The findings indicated little or no differences between commercially synthesized xanthan gum and produced xanthan gum. However, xanthan gum from Stenotrophomonas maltophilia has a higher apparent viscosity (660.6 mPas) that is above those of Xanthomonas campestris (526.1 mPas) and commercial xanthan gum (411.3 mPas), respectively. The gums showed structural similarities and exhibited good thermal stability. These findings indicate that Xanthomonas species are viable options for xanthan gum production

    Phonon pressure coefficients and deformation potentials of wurtzite AlN determined by uniaxial pressure-dependent Raman measurements

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    © 2014 American Physical Society. We studied bulk crystals of wurtzite AlN by means of uniaxial pressure-dependent Raman measurements. As a result, we derive the phonon pressure coefficients and deformation potentials for all zone center optical phonon modes. For the A1 and E1 modes, we further experimentally determined the uniaxial pressure dependence of their longitudinal optical-transverse optical (LO-TO) splittings. Our experimental approach delivers new insight into the large variance among previously reported phonon deformation potentials, which are predominantly based on heteroepitaxial growth of AlN and the ball-on-ring technique. Additionally, the measured phonon pressure coefficients are compared to their theoretical counterparts obtained by density functional theory implemented in the siesta package. Generally, we observe a good agreement between the calculated and measured phonon pressure coefficients but some particular Raman modes exhibit significant discrepancies similar to the case of wurtzite GaN and ZnO, clearly motivating the presented uniaxial pressure-dependent Raman measurements on bulk AlN crystals

    Interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein as prognostic biomarkers in metastatic colorectal cancer

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    OBJECTIVES: The aim was to explore the prognostic significance of IL-6 and markers of systemic inflammatory response (SIR), in particular C-reactive protein (CRP), in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) patients, in the total study population and according to RAS and BRAF mutation status. RESULTS: High levels of pretreatment serum IL-6 or CRP were associated with impaired outcome, in terms of reduced PFS and OS. Patients with low versus high serum IL-6 levels had median OS of 26.0 versus 16.6 months, respectively (P < 0.001). Stratified according to increasing CRP levels, median OS varied from 24.3 months to 12.3 months, (P < 0.001). IL-6 and CRP levels affected overall prognosis also in adjusted analyses. The effect of IL-6 was particularly pronounced in patients with BRAF mutation (interaction P = 0.004). MATERIALS AND METHODS: IL-6 and CRP were determined in pre-treatment serum samples from 393 patients included in the NORDIC-VII trial, in which patients with mCRC received first line treatment. The effect of serum IL-6 and CRP on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was estimated. CONCLUSIONS: High baseline serum consentrations of IL-6 or CRP were associated with impaired prognosis in mCRC. IL-6 and CRP give independent prognostic information in addition to RAS and BRAF mutation status

    Homozygosity for a missense mutation in the 67 kDa isoform of glutamate decarboxylase in a family with autosomal recessive spastic cerebral palsy: parallels with Stiff-Person Syndrome and other movement disorders

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    Background Cerebral palsy (CP) is an heterogeneous group of neurological disorders of movement and/or posture, with an estimated incidence of 1 in 1000 live births. Non-progressive forms of symmetrical, spastic CP have been identified, which show a Mendelian autosomal recessive pattern of inheritance. We recently described the mapping of a recessive spastic CP locus to a 5 cM chromosomal region located at 2q24-31.1, in rare consanguineous families. Methods Here we present data that refine this locus to a 0.5 cM region, flanked by the microsatellite markers D2S2345 and D2S326. The minimal region contains the candidate gene GAD1, which encodes a glutamate decarboxylase isoform (GAD67), involved in conversion of the amino acid and excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate to the inhibitory neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Results A novel amino acid mis-sense mutation in GAD67 was detected, which segregated with CP in affected individuals. Conclusions This result is interesting because auto-antibodies to GAD67 and the more widely studied GAD65 homologue encoded by the GAD2 gene, are described in patients with Stiff-Person Syndrome (SPS), epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia and Batten disease. Further investigation seems merited of the possibility that variation in the GAD1 sequence, potentially affecting glutamate/GABA ratios, may underlie this form of spastic CP, given the presence of anti-GAD antibodies in SPS and the recognised excitotoxicity of glutamate in various contexts
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